Sunday, 30 October 2011

English vs American—Kurt Chambers

Over the last few weeks I received a couple of rejection letters. One of them, though giving me reasons for the rejection, which is a rarity, was in all sense and purposes a standard rejection letter. This rejection came from an agent in America. So far all my rejections from the other side of the pond have been form rejections. For those of you who are not familiar with form rejections, here is the letter in question.

Dear Kurt Chambers,
Thank you for letting me review your query. I’m sorry it took me a while to respond, but unfortunately, I don't believe that we are the appropriate agents to represent this material. In this very competitive market, we are simply not enthusiastic enough about our ability to sell this work to offer you representation.
We wish you the best of luck placing this successfully. Thank you, once again, for letting us consider it.
Best regards,

During my submission campaign, I submitted to one English agent. I also received a rejection, but this time, although rejecting me for the same reasons, it was much more encouraging.

Dear Kurt,
Thank you so much for letting me consider this. I’m sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you about it. There is an awful lot I like about it. However I am afraid the market is so tough currently that I do have to be completely bowled over by something to take it on and I’m afraid I just didn’t fall in love with this to the extent that I would need to in order to go in to bat for it in this climate.
I know you will continue to approach agents and publishers and I’m sorry that it’s been a near miss for me. Good luck with your further submissions.
With all best wishes,

It seems that my biggest obstacle at the moment is the market. Not the news I really wanted to hear as I wrote this particular novel, Unknown Reality, with the market in mind, unlike my other novels. But I was quite happy with a near miss. That’s very encouraging from a top children’s publishing agent, and I will take it as an achievement to be able to impress a reputable agent to this degree with my story. There’s hope for me yet!

Now I think I should concentrate of submitting to UK agents after only getting form rejections from our American friends. Maybe I’m just too English for them and they just don’t get it. Only time will tell.

Truth Teller is now available from here:

You can connect with the author at:

Author’s Web page

Truth Teller Reviews:

Dawne Dominique - Multi-published author and professional cover artist.
The Truth Teller is one of the best children's fantasy book I've read in a long while. Charlotte is so easy to picture in my mind, and the fantasy aspects are brilliant! There are underlying currents of "real life lessons" that are subtly included...ideal for parents looking for that perfect bedtime story to read to their children. I loved the entire premise of the novel and will definitely be purchasing the next ones in this series.
Kurt Chambers has captured the genre with a wonderful story that will delight many a child's (and adult's) imagination.

Annie McMahon - Editor, published author and Novel Workshop moderator.
This book has everything a bestseller should have: compelling story, endearing characters, vivid descriptions, genuine emotions, and a lot of surprising twists and turns. This is a story about a friendship that transcends race, gender, age, and even realms, between Charlotte, a ten-year-old girl, and Elderfield, a teenage elf. Beautiful and heartwarming. I strongly recommend it and have reviewed Kurt’s story on my blog, Dutch Hill News.

Ralene Burke – Writer, Editor for Wives in Bloom:
Honestly, I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to read these books. Kurt has written an amazing series that emphasizes such wonderful themes as friendship, family, hope, and faith. I’ve read Truth Teller and Wrath of Siren and, even though they are MG, enjoyed them immensely. If you’re looking for wholesome reads for your children, check out the next big thing for MG.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Cleanse Fire (The First Chronicle) The Story Behind The Story

Me: It is my greatest pleasure to introduce you today to a great writer and a very good friend of mine, Anastasia V. Pergakis. I have invited her on my blog to tell you about her awesome new book, Cleanse Fire, and give you some background behind how this series came into being. Welcome to my humble blog, Anastasia.

Anastasia: Hi Kurt! :)

Before I tell you about the story itself, I want to share with you the original idea of where this story came from. My Dad served in the US Army for twenty years. As a writer, I had the urge to write a story about him, telling the world about his dedication to this country. Proud of my Dad as I am, I wanted the world to know of his service, and not have him fall between the cracks and be another 'nameless soldier' as it were. When I began writing the story however, I realized that I could never do justice to him, or any soldier for that matter. I couldn't capture the emotions involved with being a soldier and no amount of talking to my Dad was going to help.

So, I resorted to my passion – fantasy. I took the general idea of a soldier - the steadfast warrior protecting his country - and crafted my characters. The main character originally was to be "my Dad" in a sense, but over time, he grew into his own personality.

Now, while the story as it exists now is completely fictional, the characters and story line are all in dedication to my Dad and all soldiers who have served, are serving, and will serve in the military. It is my hope that, even though in fantasy form, the story of a soldier’s sacrifice and dedication to their country still shines through.

With all that in mind, protions of my royalties will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. This organization helps wounded soldiers and their families heal when they return home.

The Kinir Elite is made up of six elves. They are the Special Forces in their country - like Delta Force here in the States. or the S.A.S in the United Kingdom. They have unique and specialized training that allows them to handle missions of all kinds, ranging from hostage rescue to information gathering to “spy” work.

Now, that I've told you where the story came from, let me tell you what the book is about!

Complete the mission, no matter what…
Captain Derac Vidor has served Kinir for nearly twenty years. It’s his life, his blood, his soul. And then his Commander betrays everything Derac holds dear. Now he has to focus on his own life and his team instead of saving the citizens of Kinir.

Treason is only the beginning…
Fueled by rage, the team chases the source to their Commander’s betrayal – a powerful wizard bent on revenge. The wizard seeks to destroy the Kinir Elite, in both mind and body. No place is safe, even among their allies.

The past holds the key…
Derac’s tragic past may be the key to saving the team. But can he face the gruesome nightmare in time?

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Thank you Kurt, for having me here today! You've been a great support for me to get my book out into the world. Your friendship and encouragement mean the world to me!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Write What You Know—Kurt Chambers

There is lots of advice for writers out there, and some of it is repeated over and over again by many writers, publishers and agents. This leads me to think that this advice is worth taking onboard. One quote that comes up very often is, write what you know. This might seem like an obvious statement, but very good advice nonetheless.

I spent seven years writing a series of Middle Grade Fantasy books, my Truth Teller series. There are three books in total; Truth Teller, The Wrath of Siren and Favian’s Law. I love these stories. They came straight from the heart and were always something I wanted to write. I worked for years to bring them to a publishable standard and entered the submission process. After many knock-backs, I came to the conclusion they weren’t the most marketable novels despite the amazing reactions I received from my target audience beta readers and the members of my critique group. So, I shelved them. I turned my attention to writing for the market. Luckily, the novel I wrote turned out to be a cracking story and very popular among my young readers. So, I tried to write another marketable novel. That’s when I hit a brick wall.

I had lost my way. I spent so much time trying to get published, I lost interest and almost gave up. It was a mistake. While I took a break from my writing, I realised where I had gone wrong. Write what you know! That’s what they say. So, that is exactly what I’m going to do. I went back to doing what I wanted to do and have just started writing a new novel. It’s book four to my Truth Teller series, Lost Magic. It’s so nice to be back with my old characters. I missed them so much. My series may never get published due to market forces, but I don’t care. I’m writing what I know, and I’m falling in love with writing all over again.